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Abstract

The rural South has long been, for Blacks especially, a place characterized by declining agricultural opportunities, diminishing numbers of land owners, limited education and employment, few government services, continuous outmigration, and persistent poverty for many who remain. Nevertheless, not all communities suffering from these conditions have abandoned hope. Some have drawn on the strength of their own traditional institutions to sustain and even rebuild community life. Members of the Brooks Farm community, in the face of declining population and resources, have continued to provide services from within the community. At the same time, they have learned new ways to organize to secure services the community cannot provide for itself.

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